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Illume pledges support for gender-neutral HPV vaccinations

Cheltenham dentist Tim Rumney, owner of Illume dental practice, is pledging support for the acceleration of gender-neutral HPV vaccinations following a call for dentistry backing from the British Dental Association (BDA).

The Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) started to assess the requirement of HPV vaccinations for adolescent boys in 2013, with the recommendation to be announced in 2015. However, just last year the Department of Health announced that a decision will not be made until 2017 – with any implementation of the vaccination unlikely to happen before 2020.

In the meantime, Illume together with other UK dental practices and health professionals, is becoming increasingly concerned about the growing risk of HPV related diseases, including mouth cancer.

For example, a recent audit of national head and neck cancers by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) found nearly two-thirds of examined patients diagnosed with cancer of the oropharynx tested positive for HPV.

What’s more, between 2006/7 and 2010/11 the secondary care costs of treating head and neck cancers alone increased from £17.21 million to £30.32 million – highlighting a massive increase in cost of 76% to the NHS in just three years.

Illume’s Practice Owner and Clinical Director, Tim Rumney, says, “Over recent years it has become increasingly clear that the HPV virus is a real risk factor for many debilitating diseases including mouth cancer.

“Here at Illume we hope that a mass pledge for the accelerated gender-neutral vaccination will result in a fast tracked decision and implementation of the vaccination for all adolescent boys. If implemented as soon as possible, thousands of lives could potentially be saved each year, and costs to the NHS could be reduced significantly in the longer term.”

Illume provides all patients with thorough mouth cancer screening as part of its healthy mouth reviews and also offers a free ‘two minutes to save a life’ mouth cancer screening service.

For more information please click here, or if you have any concerns about mouth cancer please contact the practice directly on 01242 522230.